How to Buy Discount Carowinds Tickets – Top 8 Cheap Ways to Save Big

Carowinds amusement park on the North Carolina-South Carolina border in the Charlotte area is a fun destination for all ages. Whether you’re taking younger kids to Camp Snoopy or headed straight to the nearly 60 world-class thrill rides, you’ll save big by purchasing discount Carowinds tickets in advance of your visit.

I recommend only authorized ticket sellers so that you can save money without the hassle of trying promo codes and coupons that do not work. These discount tickets also include entry to the seasonal Carolina Harbor Waterpark at Carowinds.

This way, you’ll have extra cash to go shopping for souvenirs at popular stores, attend seasonal events, upgrade your day with extras, or stay fueled on authentic Carolina cuisine at this premier entertainment destination.


Carolina Harbor is the largest water park in the Carolinas with towering water slides, wave pools, cabanas, and a fun two-acre children’s area. It is open seasonally and currently requires reservations (no reservations are required for the main Carowinds amusement park).

Buying Carowinds NC Tickets at the Gate

If you show up at the gate of Carowinds without purchased admission, expect to pay a front gate price of $70 per ticket. This is as expensive as tickets to Carowinds get. Make sure to explore other options before settling on the front gate price to save money.

Purchasing Regular Carowinds Tickets Online

If you are looking to buy a regular Carowinds ticket, it’s better to purchase online in advance through an authorized ticket seller or the park directly.

There are two types of 1-Day tickets: date-specific tickets and good any day tickets. Date-specific tickets are valid on the exact day the ticket is purchased for. These are necessary to take advantage of any promotions the park offers that are valid on specific days. Good any day tickets can be used on any day of the week (expiration dates may apply – read all terms and conditions) and do not require reservations.

While no reservations are required for Carowinds, unless you hold a date-specific ticket, you will need a reservation for Carolina Harbor Waterpark.

Kids under the age of 3 are free and do not require an admission ticket.

Bother Carowinds and Carolina Harbor Waterpark are seasonal theme parks so if you do hold a good any day ticket, make sure that the park is open on the day you’d like to visit.

Reliable Options for Carowinds Discount Tickets

For Carowinds fans looking for affordable and cheap deals, this section will be music to your ears. Below are some reliable ways to buy Carowinds discount tickets and other tips to potentially save money on your upcoming trip to the park. 

1. Discounted Single-Day Passes

Based in San Diego, aRes Travel is an authorized ticket seller that provides access to theme parks and other star attractions, including the beloved Carowinds!

By capitalizing on this deal for a discounted single-day pass through aRes Travel, visitors will be able to save over $28 on daily admission. These discount tickets boast several benefits. Not only are they mobile-friendly, but they are also eligible for any day and allow you to skip ahead straight to the gate.

If you are in the Carolinas but want to ensure you are saving your Carowinds outing for a bright and sunny day, this discount ticket deal will allow you to explore the park any day that you want while still securing a ticket ahead of time. 

Carowinds 1-Day Tickets – Good Any Day

Save over $28! Buy 1-Day admission to Carowinds. Purchase by September 12, 2021.

Price: $45.75/ages 3+taxes included!


2. Carowinds Vacation Packages

If you are looking to prolong your stay, you’re in luck! With an on-site hotel and even gorgeous grounds for camping, Carowinds makes a great family vacation, whether you are looking for weekend lodging or a place to stay for an entire week. 

You will see that there is also a One Day Hotel + Ticket Package through aRes Travel. This package allows you to save up to 30% when you book your hotel and tickets simultaneously. If you are driving far distances for your Carowinds visit or want to extend your stay slightly, this is the perfect deal for you to take advantage of. 


Unwind and relax after a fun day, by treating yourself to a night at SpringHill Suites Charlotte at Carowinds — the onsite hotel. There are free breakfast options and a full-service bar with local craft beer and premium wines available for your indulgence. The hotel also hosts a business center, fitness center, laundry facilities, complimentary high-speed internet, an outdoor swimming pool, and a 24-hour market.

One Day Hotel + Ticket Package

Choose from 20 hotels to bundle with admission. Look for PRICE DROP Alerts to save even more!


3. Season Passes for Year-Round Savings

For Carolina natives, or families spending an entire season in the area, consider opting for the Season Pass. With all of the discounts provided with the two different passes available, you are certainly getting your bang for your buck. What’s more, you get to unlock an entire season of infinite fun and adventure!

Gold Pass

At just $8 a month, or $107 for the whole year, visitors can purchase a Gold Pass. This pass includes numerous benefits, and when you read through the list, you will realize what a steal this deal is.

First and foremost, this pass allows you one free Bring-A-Friend Ticket, which is valid through October 31, 2021, but excludes SCarowinds. You can treat up to 6 guests with this pass, and it can be used Monday-Thursday. 

Pass holders will enjoy free parking all season long and receive unlimited trips to Carowinds and Carolina Harbor Waterpark. Discounts will also be available at the on-site hotel and campground, and pass holders can also revel in a 10% discount deal on select food and merchandise. How awesome is that?

Pass holders will also be eligible for “Pass Perks.” This exciting rewards program allows guests to receive anything from a redeemable prize on a future trip to a surprise deal that can be utilized outside of Carowinds. 

Lastly, one of the top advantages of being a gold pass member is access to exclusive Carowinds events, including admission to WinterFest, SCarowinds, and exclusive events.


For those curious, SCarowinds is the largest Halloween event in all of the Carolinas that you just can’t miss. Expect a night full of haunted mazes, wicked screams, and spooky live entertainment. Meanwhile, at WinterFest you can anticipate freshly baked Winter treats, holiday-themed games, and the spectacular Wonderland Parade that happens on a nightly basis. 

Platinum Pass

The unbeatable Platinum Pass is the other season pass available for visitors to purchase. At just $15 a month, and $198 for the whole year, the Platinum Pass offers all the same benefits as the Gold Pass, plus one more deal. You might be wondering, what could this additional benefit possibly be? It happens to be the best deal of them all.

Not only does the Platinum Pass give you access to Carowinds, but it also allows you to visit all Cedar Fair Parks. That’s right, all of them. This includes 17 destination spots, 11 of which you can stay at.

From Sandusky, Ohio’s Cedar Point, the roller coaster capital of the world, to the Canadian crown jewel, Canada’s Wonderland, the Platinum Pass puts world-famous destinations right at your fingertips for a cheap deal. The other attractions included are California’s Great America, Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom, Gilroy Gardens, Kings Dominion, Kings Island, Knott’s Berry Farm, Michigan’s Adventure, Valleyfair, and Worlds of Fun.

These parks are scattered all across the country, and if you are planning on visiting multiple amusement parks in one year, you will get your money’s worth by purchasing this pass. 


You can bypass the regular line at over 20 rides and attractions by upgrading your day to include Fast Lane. Access to Fast Lane is not included in either Season Pass, but both a Fast Lane pass and a Season Fast Lane pass are available for purchasing, priced at $75 and $425, respectively, plus applicable fees at checkout.

4. Pre-K Pass for Ages 3-5

If you have children ages 3–5, they qualify for a Pre-K pass which entitles them to free admission for the rest of 2021 and all of 2022 (excluding SCarowinds). You’ll need to bring a valid birth certificate or passport that shows their age and activate the pass by September 5, 2022

5. Group Ticket Discounts

Are you in a group of 15 people or more? If so, there’s a discounted package waiting specifically for you! Groups ranging from 15-99 members can take advantage of group discounted tickets, which offer tickets for $38.63 per person, plus applicable taxes.

This Carowinds ticket allows you to enjoy all of the same attractions that a daily ticket offers, but on the cheap side, with all of your friends and family members by your side. It’s the perfect package for a co-workers retreat, family reunion, or birthday party.

6. Military Ticket Discounts

For military veterans or those currently serving in the military, Carowinds has a couple of deals available to thank our nation’s heroes.

Military discounts are available for single-day admission for $42, and Gold Passes can also be purchased at a discounted fee of $6.50 a month. This military discount is also extended to the immediate family members of service members.

7. Student ID Discounts

For students interested in a night of Halloween fun, book a discount ticket to SCarowinds! With packs of terrifying zombies and thirsty vampires lurking around every corner, there’s never a dull moment at this festival of fear.

Rest assured, you’re in for a treat (and a few tricks). For those with a current High School or College ID, present your ID at the front gate to buy a student ID discounted ticket to SCarowinds for only $39.99. That’s a discount of $19 off the front gate fees!

8. AAA CAROWINDS discounts

Are you a member of the American Automotive Association (AAA) Carolinas? If the answer is yes, don’t miss the special discount available for Carowinds.

You can purchase a ticket through the AAA website that will save you up to $15 on a single-day ticket to Carowinds. If you are an AAA member of a different branch, you can check to see if discounts are available as they tend to vary by region. 

9. Twilight Admission Discounts (After 4 p.m.)

If you are only in the Carolinas for a couple of days and you’ve got a packed agenda, you might not have the time to devote an entire day to Carowinds (even if you want to).

If you choose to go to Carowinds for just half a day, starting at 4 p.m. until closing time, you can save money with a discounted price ticket for only $35. 

Important Carowinds NC Tips for Visiting

Before you begin your family trip, there are a few things to consider when visiting Carowinds. Known as the place “Where the Carolinas Come Together,” Carowinds’ number one priority is the safety of all of its visitors and groups, as it boasts one of the best safety records in the industry.

With that in mind, there are numerous rides for everyone to enjoy, including your littlest ones. At Camp Snoopy, an area geared towards the youngest visitors, tots need to be a minimum of 36 inches tall to go on the rides. Depending on the ride, the height minimum climbs up to 48 inches. The height minimum ranges from 42 to 54 inches for a family-friendly ride, and for a world-class thrill ride, height minimums range from 48 to 54 inches. 

Children two years old and under receive free entry into Carowinds, and no ticket is required for their admission into the park. Reservations are no longer required for any guest but are encouraged due to certain price benefits guests will receive by booking online. 

If you are worried about finding the parking lot once you get there, don’t panic! Parking is marked once you go through the drive-up check-in booths, with a separate parking lot for the water park. Parking is $20 per trip.


  • Unless you are actively eating or drinking, face coverings are mandatory indoors for visitors 5 and up who are not fully vaccinated.
  • Face masks will also be required on all indoor rides for unvaccinated guests 5 and up.
  • You will find frequent hand sanitizing stations.
  • Restrooms, benches, and rides are consistently cleaned and sanitized throughout the day.
  • Carowinds employees have received thorough training on maintaining a hygienic and safe environment.
  • First aid spots are located throughout the area to attend to minor health issues.

Carowinds Tickets & More FAQ

A Carowinds roller coaster on the track.

What are the benefits of having a Carowinds Season Pass?

If you are a Carolina native or plan to tour the Carowinds multiple times in one year, there are numerous benefits included in the Carowinds Season Passes. There are two types of passes, the Gold Pass and the Platinum Pass.

Both passes allow for one Bring-a-Friend ticket (includes up to 6 people). Season Pass holders can also enjoy free parking all season long and receive unlimited trips to Carowinds and Carolina Harbor Waterpark.

Savings and deals will also be available at the onsite hotel and campground, and pass holders can revel in a 10% discount on select food and merchandise. Additionally, pass holders are eligible for “Pass Perks” and can attend all Carowinds exclusive upcoming events, including SCarowinds and WinterFest. 

A Platinum Pass offers one additional benefit: access to all 17 Cedar Fair Parks.

Do you have to make reservations to visit Carowinds, or can you buy tickets at the gate?

Carowinds previously required a reservation to the park for entry. However, now guests do not need a reservation, although a reservation is encouraged to save money.

Guests who purchase tickets at the gate will need to pay $70, while guests who reserve tickets online will receive a discounted price of $45. However, if you decide to visit the park at a moment’s notice, you will not be limited by any reservation regulations. 

Do You Have a Carowinds Promo Code?

No. The best way to save money is to buy the cheap tickets listed above sold through aRes Travel. You can try to scour the web for Carowinds coupons or a Carowinds promo code, but we will have the reliable methods always listed in this post.

How Much Is Parking at Carowinds?

Parking at Carowinds is $20 and can be purchased at the park.

How Do I Score Free Parking?

Season Pass holders enjoy free parking for the duration of their pass.

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